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away from the susan rice pick. he gave in on taxing the top income earners at the rate he wanted. and so far he's really just tiptoed kind of cautiously around gun control. so this a confident obama based on the agenda you're seeing or a caution one? >> reporter: focusing on foreign policy, i think you'd have to say this is a confident president obama right now. just consider the selections of chuck hagel, john kerry, even though it's not susan rice, but also john brennan compared to four years ago. jim jones did not work out. there was secretary gates at defense that was brought over from the bush administration before him. and so i think in many ways this sort of demonstrates that the president feels he'll put his imprint on foreign policy going forward from him. hillary clinton a choice that some may have viewed as a concession of secretary of state and worked out well for both sides. >> david, you know, chuck hagel has gotten some opposition from the left and the right. do you expect in a second term now elected and safe obama might get some more opposition from the left, fro
and heavy drinking. so when republicans threaten to block susan rice, and now that they're threatening to block chuck hagel, and now that they are scoffing at even the prospect of jack lew at treasury, there are two options for understanding what republicans are doing here. they are either just making noise to convince their base that they still exist, and the beltway is dutifully reporting it as if it matters, but it doesn't. all those nominations are going to be or would have been fine, or the other option is that republicans really are going to try to set an absolutely historically unprecedented bar against the president nominating his chosen cabinet in a way that has never happened before in u.s. history. they will block, say, a nominee for treasury secretary because mitch mcconnell once felt irked in his presence. if that is really what they are planning, keep in mind that the republicans' mandate for doing this is something that they think derives from an election that the president just won by a lot and which their party lost seats in both the house and the senate. so it's eithe
't think we should change the talking point -- clarify the talking points that susan rice leading up to the al-qaeda. i've told three stories. director of national intelligence said they changed the talking point. f.b.i. said no, it might have been us. because of ongoing criminal investigation. the final answer believes the c.i.a. may have changed the talking point deleting references to al-qaeda. i'm not going to confirm john brennan or anyone else until the administration shares information with the congress about who deleted references to al-qaeda three weeks before the election. i think it was purposefully done and i want to know who did it before we move forward. >> you're committed to holding the nomination up? >> yeah. i don't want to. but i'm not going to let the administration get away from having to be held accountable. the state department, you will hear from hillary clinton. who did change the talking points and take al-qaeda out? what did the president do in seven hours? they are making two movies about the strong leadership and the bin laden raid. this administration le
up there, something susan rice was not able to do when she was in play. >> rose: she went up there but it didn't work. >> i think he needs to emerge from those meetings with at least a different tone. i think senator mccain is extraordinarily important. he supported senator mccain in 2000, didn't support him in 2008. senator schumer on the democratic side is important and mitch mcconnell the republican leader are important. there will be some republican senators opposed. he needs to hold the democrats in advance of his hearings and he needs to come out of the hearings, again, with a solid democratic support and a lot of republican support. i don't think he's going to get an overwhelming vote from the republicans, at least right now. doesn't feel that way. but i think he'd like to get 20 of them, 25 of them. that would be at this point probably best case for the white house. >> rose: but is the republican opposition to him primarily over some policy position he has about america's engagement overseas and the end of it, as david spoke to, or is it about what he has said or what
here. no question. we thought it was susan rice for secretary of state. not surprising for a president who won an election to decide to pick one or two big personnel fights. that happens in politics. think think -- the white house calculation, jim's dead right about the iraq war. if we have to re-debate the iraq war, they're on the high ground for that one and hearing criticism he's soft. normally when a democrat does that, they want someone that's tough because the criticism historically is they're soft on defense and here's a republican choice labeled as soft, soft on israel and soft coming to iran sanctions. john mccain and other conservatives say soft with the end of the iraq war and the president's comfortable with him and comfortable with the new cia chief. the president doesn't have to face re-election. this is the second term a different set of calculations and thinks he has work to do, diplomacy. they think they'll win in the end. >> i want to ask you about hagel's israel comments because he made some pretty pointed comments about israel and going to quote them. in one, hagel
.s. ambassador to the united nations is susan rice. you know, again, i could go through the list. this president has appointed -- has made two appointments to the supreme court both of them women. i think that his commitment to -- >> do you think it's an unfair charge? >> i think that the record speaks for itself. >> the record does speak for itself, doesn't it? joining me now for our daily fix, chris alissa, msnbc contributor managing editor of post politics.com, msnbc's white house correspondent kristen welker and washington post opinion columnist ruth marcus. ruth, i got to start with you because of the headline writers on your column -- >> thank you very much. copy desk. >> the headline was? >> binders full of women. >> beaninders full of women. what is going on here? that is the question that a lot of people are asking. >> it doesn't look so attractive. no disrespect to the looks of it. men involved. i am not a fan of bean counting and counting up numbers of women and numbers of minorities, but it is striking and it is disconcerting and it is disappointing to see in the big four jobs no fem
? this comes, of course, against the back drop of susan rice and the cratering of her nomination. >> sure. the first thing that happened was this enormous and i think pretty unjustified republican reaction against him because if you look at chuck hagel on paper, he is the perfect gop candidate. you know, combat veteran, businessman, earned millions of dollars in the private sector, very successful washington career. was an organizer for ronald reagan. as senator, supported missile defense, defense increases, don't ask don't tell. i mean, right down the line very sort of doctrine supporter of defense. i was pretty shocked to see this huge outcry against him, and i think it goes back to things other than chuck hagel. >> yeah. just maybe. karen, lindsey graham saying this is an in your face nomination. he would be the most antagonistic secretary of defense. sharp words, which probably p r portends something more than just policy disagreements. >> true, although at this point lindsey graham has kind of lost all if not most of his credibility because he sort of has been balking at just about
attention to, like, given the record, given the backing of susan rice, why is he so upset with having senator hagel as the secretary of defense? looking to retrench military power in the world, so there is going to be a fundamental choice being made for the next four years, and secretary hagel just part of is that debate. >> trying to pick a fight, figuring out where to move, you want to have a fight for this going simultaneously? if he picks susan rice? guest: there was an interview, and i think that had those simultaneously been going on, susan rice would have deflected some of the attention. other nominations, like john brennan, which is controversial in some comment -- in some quarters, and john kerry -- i was the on the want to have written about this two years ago, because i had conversations with them about my own view is that at the time we will still pursuing -- part of the defense department, and trying to purge them from military service. this is one that they were attempting to sort out. it had not been repealed yet, and hagel made his opinion very clear. i have since talk
, chuck hagel. where does mccain come down on this? very much against susan rice. i find it hard to believe mccain's going to be against chuck hagel, given the kind of bonds that they have. >> chuck hagel was against john mccain in 2008. >> i'm not saying they weren't against each other on policy matters. we're talking about a confirmation here. >> didn't he endorse barack obama? >> i think he spoke favorably of him. >> i don't think he endorsed him. >> unofficial surrogate. >> again, this is a confirmation hearing where the senate dgives deference to the president. mcconnell, around this "politico" story with quotes from mcconnell's farewell speech to hagel where he points out that hagel saved mcconnell's brother in vietnam, so we're not really sure. and singing his praises. >> that's only in the movie version. >> it's going to be hard for mcconnell to oppose him vocally here. >> that kind of sums everything up because if you watched yesterday's "meet the press," i mean, all this talk last week about the president's personality being difficult and unapproachable and isolated, ex
think there's a psychological element. he wanted susan rice as secretary of state. >> u.n. ambassador. >> u.n. ambassador, and she was heavily criticized by various others and she withdrew her name and i think he was simply determined that he wasn't going to be pushed around again, that he was going to pick hagel and also he has a friendship with hagel that goes back. >> paul: to the senate days. >> for several years so i think it -- a lot of these decisions aren't just simply ideological or policy decisions, there's a personality. >> paul: do you think he wants a fight? >> i think he's had a fight, probably fight that he thinks he can win and calling over to the senate and house both. what is striking to me as well, hagel doesn't have experience in what he's tasked to do, running the pentagon. president obama involves we're not getting involved in syria or push too hard, his main job is to run pentagon. >> he was enlisted in vietnam, and distinguished service, two purple hearts and knows what it's like to be an enlisted man and fighting on the ground and have those people foremost in
susan rice, why is he so dead set on having secretary hagel? i think it has to do with the fact that this appointment is somebody the president trusts to retrench american military power in the world. there will be a fundamental choice being made over the next four years about where the president takes us when it comes to strategic matters. secretary hagel's nomination is the beginning of that. host: isn't it veterans of washington trying to take your fight? do you want to have a fight for state and defense going simultaneously? if he had picked susan rice? guest: i think that is the case it would be. it could be too tough fights. i helped host one of the meetings were lindsey graham and john mccain made very clear their views on susan rice. the moderator cut the president's response and have those simultaneously been going on, susan rice would have deflected a lot of the attention from this hagel nomination. now other nominations, like john brennan, which is controversial in some quarters, and john kerry are getting less attention. i would like to comment on the gay rights. i w
wanted susan rice and it was the republicans that stopped susan rice from becoming secretary of state. i have great regard for senator hagel and i think he's a great choice. jack lew, women qualified for the positions? absolutely. >> do you believe that there is some meeting happens right now to try to appropriately deal with this? i mean, no one wants the job just based on the gender or color. you want to say i earned my way in this and we know the realities of doors opened and closed in our nation's past to women, to people of color. do you think given the situation, the exposure there's serious talk behind the scenes at the white house? >> absolutely. i think that's right. there's some serious talk about how to fill out the rest of the cabinet. you saw the white house rush to essentially say, hey, wait a minute, we have the folks staying. holder and sebelius but to me in some ways they weren't in tune to this initially going in to this and only speaks to the lack ofdy rersty. no one in that room to say, listen, maybe we have a problem with the optics with rolling out all of these whit
. they were able to ding him by denying him the choice of susan rice, the u.n. ambassador to be the president's next secretary of state. they view going after chuck hagel as being one more notch in this crazy war against the president when a lot of people in the country want congress to focus not so much on chuck hagel as they want them to focus on what's happening with sequester and the budget and debt ceiling and other things that have direct impacts on people's lives. from a policy standpoint, does this come down to bush era neocon, that reminds them that he opposed the war. >> he did oppose the surge. for republicans this is about somebody whom they disagree with on policy and never liked that much in the senate because he wasn't the kind of senator that had a lot of friends, that played the relationship game at a high level. and so it's not like he has solid friendships that can help republican members of the senate who serve with him overlook their policy disagreements with him. ultimately, i expect senator hagel to tell members -- to tell the senate and tell republicans that he is ther
down following the whole susan rice controversy, whether she should be clinton's successor at the state department, she withdrew her name, as our viewers remember. if he would have caved on this one, he would have looked incredibly weak, i think, don't you agree? >> well, two things. one, i don't think he caved on susan rice. she was never nominated. and susan rice actually took herself out of the running for that. but -- so i don't think it's caving in on this. i've got to go back to something to point to ari. look, he was a republican. a sitting republican senator. if that's not bipartisan, i mean, i don't know what is. i have to, again, go back to what chuck hagel's real crime is here. and that is not playing the politics, the political ways of washington, which means you have to walk in lock step with your party. and if you walk outside of that, you'll be punished for it. i think that's what you're seeing right now. and the republicans attack on chuck hagel. especially when he went the opposite direction on his party. with the war in iraq. and guess what, he was right. >> this is a
for susan rice and how are the dynamics different? >> as chuck todd pointed out, there are as many as ten different democratic senators opposed to chuck hagel and it's going to be up to the white house to wage a significant campaign using some democrats like senator jack reid from rhode island to win them over. the white house probably decided that they needed to go ahead and fight for chuck hagel in this matter. i've heard from the white house that the susan rice and john kerry were pretty much tied folks going in to that state department gig. president obama going with john kerry but you are seeing the white house going for a full throttled fight to get and to win chuck hagel and not going to be easy. >> mark murray, thank you so much. happy new year. see you tomorrow. >> thanks. >>> another group that's voiced opposition to chuck hagel's nomination is gay rights activists. at issue, comments hagel made in 1998 about james hor mel, president bill clinton's nomi e nominee. he was called openly aggressively gay and called it an inhibiting factor. hagel apologized for the remarks last mon
on like it was going to go to this woman, a current ambassador to the united nation, susan rice. susan rice is a long-time friend and ally of the president whose name was floated very early on as a favorite for secretary of state. ultimately, though, before anybody was nominated for the position, the white house sort of backed down from the prospect of nominating her. they allowed her to take her name out of the running when republicans attacked her for the grave, grave crime of saying something wrong on sunday morning talk shows. something that by the way turned out to be mostly correct. but never mind, they criticized her anyway, and the white house did not back her up in the face of that criticism, and her name was removed from consideration. now, faced with another high profile nominee who has attracted loud republican nomination, this time it appears the white house is not backing down. this time president obama has officially nominated chuck hagel to be secretary of defense as of today. interestingly, another potential nominee for a big high profile national security job for this
that. >> it doesn't explain why he didn't stand behind susan rice. if that was really his view. he's choosing the fight over hagel, in part i'm sure because he gave up on susan rice. why didn't he do it for her? >> it's possible he never was for susan the way others were. there really was a split in that white house. >> it looked like it had touched a personal cord with him when she was being criticized. may be separate from whether he wanted her for the job. i think the attitude is what's driving this on hagel. and i think his comfort level, his knowledge that if he's going to deal with defense budget cuts, he wants a republican in there. i'm not sure as andrea mitchell has pointed out that having somebody who seems to have such a difficult relationship with republicans is the best one to lead that fight. >> well, no, it is sort of the idea in what's in practice seemed to be two different things. watching republican reaction here. so jeff sessions, senator from alabama, says he's going to put a hold on jack lew. lindsey graham says he's going to put a hold on john brennan. are th
to go, and this is the mainstream policy. >> john: before we go to break do we expect a fight with susan rice. he must have known that this would have come with chuck hagel. >> yes, joe mentioned this. this will drive a wedge in the republican party. there is not only a realist perspective in the republican party in terms of foreign policy and a neo-con one but there is a growing isolationist in the republican party and this fracture is about republican coalition. in that regard i think there is an opportunity for a fight. at the end of the day this appeals to sort of i think in many respects president obama's favorite constituency, which is the beltway media. this idea bipartisanship and this notion of having a republican sort of daddy figure in some respects filling this role is very appeal to go part of the beltway media. so i think this is--to the extent that this is going to be a fight, i think it's one that he's looking forward to. >> john: if hagel is the daddy figure then the nominee is the cheney figure. the c.i.a. boss is the same as the old c.i.a. boss coming up next. [ male a
in the nomination over secretary hagel as opposed to susan rice. i think steve would agree to this, one of the things that should be done in the hearings for the nomination is give much more clarity about where this administration is going. it is all fine and good to talk about the limits of power. everybody should understand our limits to power. that can be an excuse for not exercising power. i think that debate can be useful when put on the table when talking about senator hagel. >> hear the table, gary schmitt, the co-director for the -- and steve clemons the editor at large @ "the atlantic." we will get your comments in just a moment. i want to point out a " that is getting a lot of attention. i mentioned david miller who has a piece in this morning in "the washington news." he says this -- who would like to comment on that? i think the suggestion that senator hagel is anti- semetic, i have no idea. what is troubling about is not necessarily the jewish lobby -- the most troubling part is the fact that he goes on to say that's "i am a u.s. senator, i am not a senator from israel." t
. but he had options. >> bill: he also could have said to susan rice, you know, susan, i understand. we may not win this battle but you're the best person i think for that job and apparently that's what he did think and i'm going to make this fight. it is important to me to have you there. >> it also makes it more important now than ever that we embrace your idea of replacing hilda solis as secretary of labor with jennifer granholm. >> bill: there you go. started right here. i even talked to jennifer. i'm going to do her show tonight on current tv. >> you should say something. >> bill: yeah. maybe i should call her madam secretary. but i haven't even asked her whether she would accept the job that i've now given her. >> just details. >> bill: charles is in dallas, texas. hi charles. >> caller: how's it going, bill? >> bill: good. what's up? >> caller: i think this issue is a lot bigger than just obama and his appointments. if you look at the united states senate, for example, how many african-americans are there? >> bill: one. happens to be a republican. sadly. >> caller: so i think it's ju
this comes after susan rice's nomination was arguably pulled. people believe that the president wanted susan rice to be secretary of state, and she was making a very public effort to court senators up on capitol hill for that nomination. she withdrew her name herself, but it was believed that the president wanted her to be that nominee, at first. she wasn't. and this nominee, chuc chuck hailing was under fire from the start. it doesn't seem that the president wanted to pull this potential nomination and is ready for this fight. he will likely have the votes, jon. and it may be a bumpy ride to get there, but he'll likely get there. and how much political capitol it takes to get there is really the question on both of these nominations. at the end of the day, the presidents usually get who they want to have in their cab tphefplt it's cabinet. it's a rare event when they don't. it does happen up here in washington but for the most part they can usually get the votes. jon: even more rare when a nominee is a former senator. how about john bren an also withdrew his name from consideration to be ci
and overlooked for that position and susan rice now out of the running. the question, do we have enough bench of women. the cabinet positions, it's long hours, my intern went over to the white house and works 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and for a woman would children, how do we work them so women can do them. >> megyn: and talking about this on the air yesterday, i'm a relatively young mother and i would not do a job that would require 12 and 16 hours a day regularly. i'd never see my kid. women make that trade off and men, too, but women. and however, ben, look at the women in the cabinet. hillary clinton in her 60's and janet napolitano i think she's not married and you know, you can find women who could do the job who aren't necessarily young mothers, it's not like there's an absence of qualified available women out there. so why isn't he finding them? >> well, i think he's finding people he's comfortable with. and that's the problem when you make laws based on political gain. and the president did this to make minority like him and did this so women would like mitt romney better than his binder fill
, a fight not only with republicans but with some democrats. a bit of a controversy. we thought on the susan rice nomination for secretary of state. he pulled the name back. the president signaling i want my team. i want my guys and willing to take bruises along the way and he thinks he will get them in the end. >> ashleigh, if you down size the pentagon politically, and that's what the president is going to do, it's not a bad idea the republicans think to have the republican at the helm because they're called soft on defense, et cetera, et cetera. when you're down sizing, have a republican lead the way. >> it makes for easier politics in some respects. let's switch to mr. brennan. this is another interesting choice and a lot of people have a lot of good things to say about john brenna. however, gler yeah, the n nomination process is problematic. the cv sounds terrific. when's the problem? >> i actually think that brennan will have a much easier time than chuck hagel. i think there are questions about how he felt about enhanced interrogation techniques as we call them, otherwise known as tor
walked away from susan rice. why does he want this fight? >> it's a great political idea on his behalf. if there's a big fight over this defense pick, it's going to be between republicans. right? republicans are in disarray on a number of issues. speaker boehner just survived a confidence vote that was a little bit dicier than we originally thought. there's a disagreeance on spending and a bunch of other issues. there's disagreements on defense. there's some new republicans who say, hey, we've got to stop this kind of knee network promilitary, pro interventionism out there. those people really like chuck hagel. there's other republicans who really hate chuck hagel. let this fight be between republicans i'm thinking is what barack obama is looking at. >> chuck hagel has managed to make people e iing jewish group rights groups. as he put it, i'm a united states senator. i'm not an israeli senator. he called a nominee for ambassador openly aggressively gay. he did apologize for that. that happened some time ago. and said he misspoke. but, perry, what do you think? how tough could this fig
you're first making to the white house. >> reporter: climate is still a factor. susan rice withdrew her name to replace hillary clinton under pressure over her actions after the benghazi attacks. >> i think the political climate matters a lot now with who you pick. it shouldn't but it does. >> reporter: and there's pressure under the president to consider diversity after a lineup that so far includes men. >> the president values diversity, believes it's important. because it enhances the quality of a pool of potential nominees for positions across the administration. but the goal in the end is to find the very best individuals for these specific positions. >> reporter: and carney insisted that the president had indeed found the best in chuck hagel, john brennan, and senator kerry and that as the president looks to fill these other positions, finding the best is what will guide him. wolf? >> the president also has an important visit with the afghan president hamid karzai. what do they hope to accomplish? >> reporter: that's right, wolf. they will have a bilateral meeting. you can alr
susan rice and making the hague el issue much more complicated. we have to just put a name out and rather than floating them for weeks. >> gives democrats a chance to get in there. doubly hurtful. i hope that chuck hagel is asked why he refused to designate hezbollah as a terrorist organization. >>> while we're on the topic of the president's cabinet, secretary of state hillary clinton back at work today. she was out for almost a month with a stomach bug and then fell and got a concussion and doctors discovered a blood clot in her head. there's pics of the first day back. they even gave her a football helmet with the state department logo. because, of course, washington a contact sport. we threw our picks on our facebook page and they're generating great responses. the facebook friend raz lemons says, welcome back, madame president. is your screen name raz lemons? >> toure, actually. >> let us know what you're thinking. >>> dysfunctional politics. last-minute short-term finishes. is washington turning in to brussels on the potomac? that's scary. up next, a guest weighing on ame
is? it's a joke. they lost their minds over susan rice. they're doing it again. >> here is more from senator lindsey graham. >> i'll have a hard time voting for anybody to be secretary of defense who believes that the surge was a foreign policy blunder. i'll have a hard time supporting anybody for secretary of defense who believes that the iranians are misunderstood, we should just negotiate with them, not sanction them. >> they're really focusing in on some of the things that he has said in the past, including a guy slur over a decade ago. do these things matter in confirmation? >> first of all, lindsey graham is treated with a lot of respect as some kind of national security expert. but it is quite possible to be pro-israeli and also not for a rush to war with iran. it is not incompatible. in people in israel think it's quite legitimate to not want to go to war with iran. why that has become a litmus test is not clear. chuck hagel, for being opposed to the surge, he voted for the war in iraq. so, you know, there is a lot of exaggeration going on here after all these years. after th
the possible nomination of susan rice, opposition to president obama's nomination of chuck hagel is coming from both side was of the political divide. as some democrats voice concerns over hagel's positions on a wide range of issue, one of them is joining me now. democratic congressman adam schiff who has tough questions for chuck hagel. sir, great to have you with me. as a senior member of the house intelligence committee you've challenged hagel's nomination to head the pentagon. we've heard certain reasons why and they've been floated out there, but what are yours specificsly? >> i think there are two issues that senator hagel will have to address, and i think his fate is in his own hands. i think he's likely to be confirmed and it is not a slam dunk and he'll have to answer tough questions on iran, principally. he has written and said in the past that he can tolerate potentially a nuclear-powered, a nuclear-armed iran and that is certainly at odds with most of the members if not all of the members of congress. he has opposed some of the nun lateral sanctions and regime which is have been key
until our questions are answered, like who changed ambassador susan rice's talking points and deleted the references to al qaeda. my support for a delaying confirmation is not directed at mr. brennan but is an unfortunate yet necessary action to get information from this administration. the white house is trying to sell, meanwhile, back on hagel, trying to sell hagel's personal story. and no one may tell that better than his brother, tom, who served alongside him in vietnam and described to nbc how they narrowly escaped death together. >> the concussion was incredible. it knocked us both down. and he was behind me and i looked back and he was flat on his back, blood all over his chest. so i went back. things come up where he's being criticized for this or that or the other thing, or we're both having problem. we look at each other and say, you know, what can they do to you? send you back to vietnam? >> that all may be true. on the importance of this response, that the number two democrat in the senate, new york's chuck schumer, gave to "the wall street journal" when asked about hagel'
, the right that is, kind of sour the test balloon that was that of susan rice? and now they're trying to sour the test balloon that is chuck hagel. we're just a couple hours away from the fact that he will be put up for this appointment. doesn't it look funny to have the right kind of eating their young, eating their own from a position that they would like one of their own to be in? >> you know, i don't know that they're really itching for a fight here. it just seems like whenever the president floats one of these names out there we have everybody fanning out their turkey feathers, strutting around the barnyard like they have something to say about it early on. when cooler heads prevail and if we can get to a senate confirmation hearing, chuck hagel will obviously have to answer some questions that republicans are concerned about. actually, on your network this morning on "the daily rundown" with chuck todd i think dan sino did a fabulous job explaining a couple of the votes we were talking about against israel and against some of the middle eastern issues we care most about with syria. some
. he was willing to take on susan rice for a while. that one ended up getting too difficult and she stepped aside but the president's got an attitude of i've been vindicated by the election and the record in the first term. i got bin laden, i wound down wars unpopular and he has a -- is looking at republicans and saying, you guys were smack talking me for a couple of years and you had the tea party in 2010 and you thought i was back on my heels but i've just been vindicated by the voters in the election with 51% and i'm going to try to impose my will as much as i can. >> chuck hagel and john kerry, the politico today, their headline story, points to how formidable these two might be for many reasons but, again, both being vietnam veterans and how this could with the president's agenda and strategy set the stage for wars in the future or the avoid answer of military footprint on the ground and the years ahead, john. >> well, i think to some degree the latter, tamron, is the relevant point here. the term vietnam veteran brings with it the -- all of the turmoil and the tumult and the s
of what happened to his nomination for ambassador susan rice. she withdrew her name for consideration in the aftermath of the benghazi comments she made. the president was willing to fight for hagel. what does that say about this president of the united states? >> number one, he wants to prove, i won the election. thank you very much. i should get my team. look at his resume, military service. it's hard to argue he's not qualified to be defense secretary. some people will raise questions about management experience. is he ready to do that? but the president number one, i'm willing to spend some political capital. we thought it might come over susan rice. it's now going to come over chuck hagel. he carried over george w. bush's defense secretary, bob gates, put his former rival at the state department. here is a guy who doesn't face re-election. he wants his team, people he's comfortable with. he wants people he's like-minded with and decided i'm going to have my guys in the second term. if i have to get a little bruised up to get them, i'll do it. >> their bond kind of goes back to ir
his career driven by personal grudges -- >> like susan rice? >> yes. that was another case part of what was driving him. in this case, i do think part of what he would say, if he were here, back to the policy point, there's no greater champion of the iraq war and surge and everything that happened after that than john mccain was and no greater critic of that than republican chuck hagel. he would make the case it is not just a personal thing although i believe part of it is personal and this element they do have very different world views now. >> which is why the confirmation hearing and his answers will be that much more critical than earlier. >> they also, as you mentioned, harold, reservations from democrats with members of the party stopping short of offering hagel a full throated endorsement. senator chuck schumer of new york released a statement reading in part quote chuck hagel has earned the right to nothing less than a full and fair process in the senate. i look forward to fully studying his record and exploring his views. at the white house yesterday, hagel did not addr
. imagine what the stories would look like now if susan rice had been nominated to be secretary of state and michelle florinoi was the first defense secretary. >> i'm told that they are looking for a woman for commerce. i'm sure they are all very qualified. and then you say, oh, they needed a woman and they are putting that woman in a job because she's a woman. well, that's not a good storyline for them. >> or for people like you and me. >> right. exactly. and then the other question i have is, how much does the president, the top people listen to the women who are there? is it a question of numbers of women or is it a question of influence of women? i mean, you could argue that valley jarrett is the closest person on the senior staff to the president, long time friend close to the president and close to the first lady but how much do the -- two of the three deputies chief of staff are women. what's their impact? >> i can't tell you, ruth, how many democratic women have whispered, said to me -- and they are pretty upset about this -- why does the president decide to fight for chuck hagel
the president kind of floated this trial balloon with susan rice and ended up not picking her. do you view this as a political move to try to win a fight with republicans? >> no, absolutely not. this is someone that the president inherently trusts, and this is one of the most important positions in the administration. so the president needs someone that he has faith is going to be able to preside over a transformation of our military, right? this is going to be one of the most important four-year periods of time in our military's history over the past several decades. we're going to be withdrawing from afghanistan. we're going to be figuring out our new footprint in the world, and the president trusts chuck hagel. and to try to make this sound like it's a pick outside of the mainstream is absolutely ridiculous. chuck hagel has been widely regarded as one of the smartest people on defense and national security issues on both sides of the aisle. many of his colleagues, who right now are contemplating voting against him in the united states senate have wonderful things to say about him. >> fo
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